Louis-Gabriel Suchet

Last updated


Louis Gabriel Suchet

Duke of Albufera
Louis-Gabriel Suchet.jpg
Born2 March 1770 (1770-03-02)
Lyon, France
Died3 January 1826 (1826-01-04) (aged 55)
near Marseilles, France
AllegianceFlag of France (1790-1794).svg  Kingdom of the French
Flag of France (1794-1815).svg  French First Republic
Flag of France (1794-1815).svg  First French Empire
Flag of the Kingdom of France (1814-1830).svg Bourbon Restoration
Service/branch Army
Years of service1792–1815
Rank Marshal of the Empire
Battles/wars
AwardsGrand Cross of the Legion of Honour
Other workAuthor

Louis-Gabriel Suchet (2 March 1770 – 3 January 1826), Duke of Albufera (French : Duc d'Albuféra), was a French Marshal of the Empire and one of the most successful commanders of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

Contents

Life

Suchet was born to a silk manufacturer in Lyon. He originally intended to follow his father's business but, serving as a volunteer in the cavalry of the National Guard at Lyon, he displayed abilities which secured rapid military promotions. [1]

Suchet as a lieutenant colonel of the 4th battalion of the Army of the Alps, 1792 Louis Gabriel Suchet (1792).jpg
Suchet as a lieutenant colonel of the 4th battalion of the Army of the Alps, 1792

In 1793, he was serving as a battalion chief (chef de bataillon) when he captured the British general Charles O'Hara at Toulon. During the 1796 Italian campaign, he was severely wounded at Cerea on 11 October. In October 1797, he was promoted to command of a half-brigade (demi-brigade). [1]

In May 1797, Suchet was one of three lieutenant colonels of the 18th Infantry Demi-brigade, with little hope of advancement. He was sent to Venice to procure uniforms for the troops. Since the Venetians believed that they might in future be ruled by the French, Suchet and an aide were treated like royalty. For two months, they enjoyed living in a palace, having a personal gondola and holding reserved seats at the opera. On 28 October 1797, 150 officers of André Masséna's division hosted a large dinner. The colonel of the 32nd Line, Dominique Martin Dupuy brought Suchet to Napoleon Bonaparte's table and said, "Well general, when will you make our friend Suchet a colonel?" Bonaparte tried to brush him off with the reply, "Soon: we will see about it." Thereupon Dupuy took off one of his epaulettes and placed it on Suchet's shoulder, saying, "By my almightiness, I make thee colonel." This clownish action was successful; Bonaparte immediately directed Louis-Alexandre Berthier to write out Suchet's nomination for advancement. [2]

His services in the Tyrol under Joubert that year and in Switzerland under Brune over the next were recognized by his promotion to the rank of brigadier general (général de brigade). He took no part in the Egyptian campaign but was made Brune's chief of staff in August and restored the efficiency and discipline of the army in Italy. In July 1799, he was promoted to division general (général de division) and made Joubert's chief of staff in Italy. In 1800, he was named second-in-command to Masséna. His dexterous resistance to the superior forces of the Austrians with the left wing of Masséna's army, when the right and centre were shut up in Genoa, not only prevented the invasion of France from this direction but contributed to the success of Napoleon's crossing the Alps, which culminated in the battle of Marengo on 14 June. He took a prominent part in the rest of the Italian campaign up to the armistice of Treviso. [1]

In the campaigns of 1805 and 1806, he greatly enhanced his reputation at the Battles of Austerlitz, Saalfeld, Jena, Pułtusk, and Ostrolenka, in the last of which he commanded an infantry division. He obtained the title of count on 19 March 1808. Ordered to Spain, he took part in the Siege of Saragossa, after which he was named commander of the army of Aragon and governor of that region. Within two years, he brought the area into complete submission by wise and adroit administration no less than by his brilliant valor. Beaten by the Spanish at Alcañiz, he sprung back and soundly defeated the army of Blake y Joyes at María on 14 June 1809. On 22 April 1810, he defeated O'Donnell at Lleida. After the siege of Tarragona, he was named marshal of France on 8 July 1811. In 1812, he captured Valencia, [1] for which he was rewarded with the dukedom of Albufera nearby, on 24 January. [3] When the tide turned against France, Suchet defended his territorial occupations one by one until compelled to withdraw from Spain, after which he took part in Soult's defensive campaign of 1814. [1]

Suchet's grave in Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris Louis Gabriel Suchet grave, Pere Lachaise, Paris.JPG
Suchet's grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

The restored Bourbon king Louis XVIII made him a peer of France on 4 June with a seat in the upper house, but this was forfeited (effective 24 July 1815) by his support of Napoleon's return during the Hundred Days. During Napoleon's brief restoration, Suchet was given command of an army on the Alpine frontier. [1]

He died in the Castle of Saint-Joseph [4] near Marseille on 3 January 1826. [1] His son, Louis-Napoleon (1813-1877), succeeded him as Duc d'Albufera.

Legacy

His memoirs (Mémoires sur Ses Campagnes en Espagne) was published in two volumes from 1829 to '34. [1]

The chicken dish poularde à la d'Albuféra is named after him.

Family

He married Honorine Anthoine de Saint-Joseph (Marseille, 26 February 1790 – Paris, 13 April 1884), a niece of Julie Clary, the wife of Joseph Bonaparte, on 16 November 1808. [5] [6] They had three children: [7]

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Chisholm 1911, p. 7.
  2. Phipps 2011, pp. 215–216.
  3. Suchet 1829, p. 439.
  4. Castle of Saint-Joseph Archived 7 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine on Napoleon & Empire website
  5. Brotonne, Léonce de (1895). Les sénateurs du consulat et de l'empire (in French). H. Champion. p. 111.
  6. Rousseau, François (1900). La carrière du Maréchal Suchet duc d'Albufera: documents inédits (in French). Didot. p. 57.
  7. Révérend, vicomte Albert (1906). Titres, anoblissements et pairies de la restauration 1814-1830 (in French). Chez l'auteur et chez H. Champion. pp.  283.

Related Research Articles

Peninsular War 19th-century military conflict fought by Spain and Portugal

The Peninsular War (1807–1814) is the military conflict fought by Spain and Portugal, assisted by the United Kingdom, against the invading and occupying forces of France for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. In Spain, it is considered to overlap with the Spanish War of Independence. The war began when the French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807 by transiting through Spain, and it escalated in 1808 after Napoleonic France had occupied Spain, which had been its ally. Napoleon Bonaparte forced the abdications of Ferdinand VII and his father Charles IV and then installed his brother Joseph Bonaparte on the Spanish throne and promulgated the Bayonne Constitution. Most Iberians rejected French rule and fought a bloody war to oust them. The war on the peninsula lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814, and it is regarded as one of the first wars of national liberation and is significant for the emergence of large-scale guerrilla warfare.

Jean-Andoche Junot French general

Jean-Andoche Junot, 1st Duke of Abrantès was a French general during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

Battle of Rivoli battle between the French First Republic and the Habsburg Monarchy, resulted in the French takeover of Northern Italy

The Battle of Rivoli was a key victory in the French campaign in Italy against Austria. Napoleon Bonaparte's 23,000 Frenchmen defeated an attack of 28,000 Austrians under General of the Artillery Jozsef Alvinczi, ending Austria's fourth and final attempt to relieve the Siege of Mantua. Rivoli further demonstrated Napoleon's brilliance as a military commander and led to the French consolidation of northern Italy.

André Masséna French Marshal

André Masséna, 1st Duke of Rivoli, 1st Prince of Essling was a French military commander during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was one of the original 18 Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon I, with the nickname l'Enfant chéri de la Victoire.

Pierre Augereau French Marshal

Charles Pierre François Augereau, 1st Duke of Castiglione was a French military commander and a Marshal of the Empire who served during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. After serving in the Revolutionary Wars, he earned rapid promotion while fighting against Spain and soon found himself as a division commander under Napoleon Bonaparte in Italy. He fought in all of Bonaparte's battles of 1796 with great distinction. During the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon entrusted Augereau with important commands. His life ended under a cloud because of his poor timing in switching sides between Napoleon and King Louis XVIII of France. Napoleon wrote of Augereau that he "has plenty of character, courage, firmness, activity; is inured to war; is well liked by the soldiery; is fortunate in his operations."

Nicolas Oudinot French Marshal

Nicolas Charles Oudinot, 1st Count Oudinot, 1st Duke of Reggio, was a Marshal of the Empire. He is known to have been wounded 34 times in battle. Oudinot is one of the Names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, Eastern pillar Columns 13, 14.

Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr French Marshal

Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, 1st Marquis of Gouvion-Saint-Cyr was a French commander in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars who rose to Marshal of the Empire and Marquis.

François Joseph Lefebvre French Marshal

François Joseph Lefebvre, Duc de Dantzig, was a French military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and one of the original eighteen Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon.

Louis Baraguey dHilliers

Louis Baraguey d'Hilliers was a French Army general who fought in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was the father of Achille Baraguey d'Hilliers, a Marshal of France, and the father-in-law of General Damrémont, governor-general of Algeria.

Jean Reynier

Jean Louis Ebénézer Reynier rose in rank to become a French army general officer during the French Revolutionary Wars. He led a division under Napoleon Bonaparte in the French Campaign in Egypt and Syria. During the Napoleonic Wars he continued to hold important combat commands, eventually leading an army corps during the Peninsular War in 1810-1811 and during the War of the Sixth Coalition in 1812–1813.

Nobility of the First French Empire

As Emperor of the French, Napoleon I created titles of nobility to institute a stable elite in the First French Empire, after the instability resulting from the French Revolution.

Antoine-Guillaume Rampon

Antoine-Guillaume Rampon joined the French army as a private soldier and rose in rank to become a general officer during the French Revolutionary Wars. He fought in many battles under Napoleon Bonaparte in Italy and Egypt. In one celebrated battle, he rallied his troops to defend the key Monte Negino redoubt against the Austrians. He saw limited service during the Napoleonic Wars. His surname can be found among the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.

Anton Ferdinand Count Mittrowsky von Mittrowitz und Nemyšl, or Anton Mittrovsky, served in the Habsburg army for many years. He was promoted to general officer in the spring of 1796, just in time to lead a brigade against Napoleon Bonaparte during the 1796-1797 Italian Campaign of the French Revolutionary Wars. He played a pivotal role in the Battle of Arcole, nearly defeating Bonaparte. He fought in Italy again in 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars and became the Proprietor (Inhaber) of an Austrian infantry regiment from 1806 until his death three years later.

Auguste-Jean-Gabriel de Caulaincourt

Auguste-Jean-Gabriel, comte de Caulaincourt was a French cavalry commander who rose to the rank of general during the First French Empire. He was the son of French general and senator Gabriel-Louis de Caulaincourt and younger brother of general and diplomat Armand Augustin Louis de Caulaincourt.

Jean-Toussaint Arrighi de Casanova

Jean-Toussaint Arrighi de Casanova, duc de Padova, was a French diplomat and soldier of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. In the late 1840s, Arrighi was also involved in politics and was elected Deputy and then Senator in the French Parliament. He was a cousin-in-law of Napoleon I of France.

Alexander Elisabeth Michel vicomte Digeon, fought in the French Revolutionary Wars in the cavalry. He became a general officer during the Napoleonic Wars, fighting in a number of important battles. After 1814, he gave his loyalty to the Bourbon Restoration and briefly served as Minister of War.

Nicolas Léonard Beker

Nicolas Léonard Beker or Nicolas Léonard Becker or Nicolas Léonard Bagert, born 18 January 1770 – died 18 November 1840, joined the French army as a dragoon before the French Revolutionary Wars and rose in rank to become a general officer. In 1800 he married the sister of Louis Desaix, who was killed at the Battle of Marengo. He led an infantry brigade in the 1805 campaign and commanded a dragoon division in 1806 and 1807. In 1809 he became chief of staff to Marshal André Masséna but ran afoul of Emperor Napoleon and was banished from the army for several years.

Pierre Dominique Garnier

Pierre Dominique Garnier, born 19 December 1756 – died 11 May 1827, was a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. He enlisted in the French royal army in 1773 and served in the French West Indies. At the outbreak of the French Revolution he left his career as an architect and joined the National Guard. Continuing in the army, he enjoyed rapid promotion while fighting in several theaters during the War of the First Coalition. As a general of brigade he fought at Toulon and was elevated to the rank of general of division. After fighting at Loano in late 1795, he found himself under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte for the Montenotte Campaign in April 1796. Bonaparte had little use for Garnier, however. Garnier saw action in Italy during the War of the Second Coalition in 1799 and 1800. During the Napoleonic Wars he held reserve or garrison commands and retired from the military in 1816. His surname is one of the 660 names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe.

Louis François Félix Musnier de La Converserie became a general officer during the French Revolutionary Wars and led a division during the Napoleonic Wars. He joined the French Royal Army as an officer in 1781 after a spell in military school. Still a lieutenant in 1788, he enjoyed rapid promotion during the French Revolution. After serving as a general's aide, he was assigned to fight rebels in the Vendée. Later, he served as Adjutant General on two army staffs. In 1798 he was promoted to general of brigade for distinguished actions in Italy.

Théodore Chabert

Théodore Chabert became a French brigade commander during the French Revolutionary Wars. He enlisted in the French Royal Army in 1774. He was promoted lieutenant colonel at the Siege of Lyon in 1793. He joined the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees as a general of brigade and led his troops at Boulou, the Black Mountain and Rosas. He served with the Army of the Alps from 1795 to 1798 when he was elected a member of the Council of Five Hundred. He missed the fighting in 1800. He opposed Napoleon's appointment as Consul for Life in 1802.

References

Attribution:

Further reading